Wolves may very well be responsible for killing a 250-pound adult llama on a private forested pasture in Union County, though the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife stopped short of confirming the incident as a wolf attack.

Investigators instead ruled it a “probable” wolf attack, taking place just 10 miles away from where wolves with the Meacham pack preyed on cattle at Cunningham Sheep Company earlier this summer.

The landowner found the dead llama Friday, Nov. 24 about 200 yards from the residence. The carcass was mostly intact, except most of the hide and muscle tissue along the right rear leg above the hock and around the anus had been consumed.

ODFW arrived the next day, and according to the agency’s investigation report, the llama likely died sometime between late Wednesday, Nov. 22 and before dark Thursday, Nov. 23. At least two sets of wolf tracks were seen in the mud about 20 yards away, which were one to two days old. Investigators also documented trail camera photos taken about 300 yards from the carcass, showing a wolf moving toward the area on Nov. 23.

However, wounds to the llama were not consistent with extensive wolf-caused injuries, the report went on to state. Taking all evidence into consideration, the agency determined that “there was sufficient evidence to confirm predation on the llama by a large predator, but not enough evidence to confirm which predator.”

The same landowner also reported another dead llama earlier in the month, which had been largely consumed except for its neck, head and left shoulder. ODFW investigated Nov. 14, and determined there was no evidence of a predator attack at the scene. The cause of death is unknown.


Contact George Plaven at gplaven@eastoregonian.com or 541-966-0825.

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